Dehydrators and vacum sealers

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by Eli-2, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Eli-2

    Eli-2 Active Member

    I want to purchase a vacum sealer and dehydrater, knowing what each of you know now and by trial and error,which make and model of each would you recommend, not the cheapest but not the most expensive either?:scratch
  2. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

    Well you can't find my dehydrator any longer but I just love it and have bought two more at yard sales for back ups-American harvester with the heater element and fan on the bottom and the stack able trays. It has a temp control on the side. I love it and hope that it lasts for many, many more years. I just looked and you can find the one that I have but it is expensive now!:eek:

    But I have a foodsaver vac-packer not the stand up type one but one of these!
    Gamesaver and have had it for years.. I also have the canisters and the mason jar wide mouth sealer and just love them all!

  3. OldCootHillbilly

    OldCootHillbilly Reverend Coot

    Got a American Harvest dehydrator like Emeralds. Like it alot. I do alota dehydratin an plan on upgradin to somethin bigger in the near future.

    Food Saver V2840 with vacuum port an the jar vac attachment. Excellent machine.
  4. tikiman

    tikiman Well-Known Member

    Foodsaver is my thought also on the sealer. The bags are easy to get and have a good mix of containers also. picked mine up new at a trift store for 10.00.
  5. TwoHoot

    TwoHoot Member

    The dehydrator is easy - buy an Excalibur. Period.

    The vacuum sealer is a different thing. I have two small ones (DZ-280/A from Sorbent Systems and a Black & Decker Freshguard). Both work but neither is completely satisfactory in my opinion. Both are from the cheap end of the line.

    The DZ-280/A has a vacuum spout that extends into the bag being sealed and the heating element is behind it. When the spout retracts for sealing, a bit of air gets into the bag (not much) so it doesn't give the brick hard vacuum packages the B&D does.

    The B&D does not have a spout. It has a vacuum trough behind the heating element. The problem is that sometimes the top of the bag being sealed sucks together and doesn't allow the air to be removed from the bag at all. I remedy this by putting a bit of cotton in the top edge of the bag so it won't suck together. It can be a pain in the neck but it does really suck a vacuum when it works. In fairness, I bought the B&D years ago so they probably have better products out now.

    I use the DZ-290/A most of the time but should have shopped around and talked to more people with experience before buying either. If I had, I would probably have one good one instead of two half-good ones. It would probably be cheaper too.

  6. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Well-Known Member

    I have a FoodSaver vacuum sealer and an Excalibur dehydrator (the one with the timer on it). I would give you my husband before I would give you these two pieces of equipment. ;)

    The FoodSaver is the only sealer I have had. We had another dehydrator before the Excalibur. It was a real pita ... The money you will spend on an Excalibur will be worth it in the end.
  7. Sudhira

    Sudhira Member

    I too am searching for a vacuum sealer. Also curious if anyone here has used the "Tribest Sedona" dehydrator. There is so much to learn...
  8. lhalfcent

    lhalfcent Supporting Member

    I have a foodsaver vacume sealer and love it!
    also have four dehydrators. two american Harvests with temp control and two Nesco's that are pretty simple and no temp control.
    I make lots of soup and stew dried mixes and other things. lol
  9. Sudhira

    Sudhira Member

    I just got an American Harvest ( square ), am dehydrating frozen organic veggies for the first time...note to the mesh inserts, duh! I hope I am not too late with my food storage prep...I bought a vacuum sealer as DH thinks I am nuts...:gaah:
  10. BuggingIn

    BuggingIn Well-Known Member

    I have a couple of Excalibers, the 5 tray and the 9 tray. I've used a variety of other dehydrators in the past, and I will never go back now that I have the Excaliburs. I got really lucky - found both of mine at garage sales for $12 for the 9 tray and $6 for the 5 tray. :)

    As for the vacuum sealers - I have one by Seal A Meal that works pretty well, and I have a manual vacuum sealer called a Pump and Seal. It uses regular Ziplock bags and can also be used on mason jars. I rather like it and it's low tech...nice to have something I can still use when power is but a memory.
  11. snappy1

    snappy1 Well-Known Member

    Is the pump n seal fairly easy to use? I got one and have not tried it yet. Dehydrating green beans tomorrow so I will get it out.
  12. Sudhira

    Sudhira Member

    Weston Pro 2300 Bags

    Ok, the machine just arrived, didn't come with any sample bags...Just curious, do any of you have an excellent source for these bags for the best price? I am getting a good start but it is still a bit daunting for me...

  13. OldCootHillbilly

    OldCootHillbilly Reverend Coot

    I get a brand from my local farm store what be named "simply smart", a good quality bag cheaper then I can order em off line.
  14. semperscott

    semperscott Well-Known Member

    Question; I have just bought a Nesco food dehydrator & jerky maker at a yard sale for $10. The box is unopened, the orginal tape still on it.

    I want to use it on veggies and like the idea of buying the frozen veggies on sale. Do you defrost the veggies prior to dehydrating them or what? I have never used a deydrator before.

    Thank you for any and all help.
  15. cybergranny

    cybergranny Well-Known Member

    I put them in frozen and spread them out. Works great. I even do hashbrowns that way. Give it a go.
  16. Sudhira

    Sudhira Member

    Dehydrating frozen veggies is so easy, I just learned from a youtube lady "Tammy" on dehydrate2store
    The small items like corn, peas, diced carrots, just pour right on frozen, I found you do need to make yourself a plastic mesh insert as when the pieces dehydrate they get so small they will fall through the spaces.
    You can plastic craft mesh at the craft store and cut it to size.
    The bigger pieces such as broccoli, cauliflower, you would want to rinse under the tap until they break up...the cauliflower you also might want to cut the bigger pieces in half while still semi frozen...really easy and fun too!
  17. DJgang

    DJgang I put SAs on IGNORE!

    hey guys!!!

    Plink, plink, plink, plink....

    I just had four of my quart jars, vacuumed sealed with my food saver attachment, plink out!

    Ugh! They were my flour and whole wheat flour. NSome are still sealed but I can hear air when I push the tops.

    What am I doing wrong?

    Thanks. :eek:
  18. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

    They were sealed when you put them away? I have a hard time with the attachment sometimes and found that if I put two lids on and then the attachment it vacuums better and then the extra lid just comes off with the attachment. I have not had one loose vacuum once I had it sealed tho. I wonder if you might have gotten a bit of flour on the rim and it caused it to lose seal due to the flour and rubber not making the best seal so that it looked sealed but slowly lost vacuum, I seal mainly my herbs and spices so haven't tried doing my flours yet. I just put them in the big buckets and freeze them for a week or so and then just store them. But I probably should vac-pack a few 5 or 10 pound bags for back storage.
  19. DJgang

    DJgang I put SAs on IGNORE!

    This is what I did.
    warmed the lids so the rubber would be soft, used two lids, warm one down, other one upside down, they sealed wonderfully....oh, made sure no flour was on the rim.

    I wonder if I have too much the jars. I left about an inch, maybe I need to leave more.

    I may try some of my herbs and spices and see if they stay sealed.

    The ones that came undone have been sealed for a week! Ugh! Ive got to figure this out.

    Thanks for your post! I appreciate it!
  20. goshengirl

    goshengirl Supporting Member

    Please post if you do figure it out! I've got one of those jar sealers on my wishlist, but may forego (sp?) it for a bit...